Updated: One Injured, Five Families Displaced in Cheswold Apartm - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Updated: One Injured, Five Families Displaced in Cheswold Apartment House Fire

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Fire heavily damaged this apartment house Wednesday morning in Cheswold. (Photo: WBOC) Fire heavily damaged this apartment house Wednesday morning in Cheswold. (Photo: WBOC)
(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

CHESWOLD, Del.- The Delaware State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating a fire at an apartment house that displaced five families and sent one woman to the hospital Wednesday morning in Cheswold.

At approximately 3:40 a.m. Wednesday, firefighters responded to the 200 block of Commerce Street where they discovered heavy fire and smoke coming from several second floor windows, the fire marshal's office said. The Cheswold Fire Company and several neighboring companies were able to get the fire under control just under an hour later.

Several second floor bedrooms of the building that served as apartments were occupied at the time of the fire, authorities said. One occupant, a 53-year-old woman, suffered from smoke inhalation. She was taken to Kent General Hospital, and later transported to Chester Crozer Burn Center in Pennsylvania, where she is listed in critical condition, authorities said.

Deputy State Fire Marshals are currently investigating the cause and origin of the fire. Damage is estimated at about $50,000.

The Red Cross of Delmarva is assisting five families, a total of 16 people, who were displaced from the fire. Disaster Action Team volunteers met with each family to assess their emergency needs of food, clothing and lodging.

"We got a call from the local 911 for Red Cross to come out and help the families," said Theresa Young, executive director of Delmarva Red Cross. "Two of our volunteers came out and talked to each individual, one-on-one to assess their needs."

She says each person in this case got a comfort kit. That includes a blanket, toothbrush, toothpaste and other things you may not think you need if your house burns down. 

"Some of the things that we do are mental health conversations," she said. "We also will connect a family to lodging. We'll help them with that for about a three-day window while we help them find other alternatives."

Young also said Delmarva Red Cross follows up with families int his situation for about a 45-day window after the fire to be sure they are getting what they need. 

This fire was one of three fires in Kent County along today. Other fires were in Houston and Frederica, according to Delmarva Red Cross. All told, they say 22 people were displaced from fires across the county. 

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